“A Journey in the Sacred Arts” Introduces Collegians to Iconography
26 May – 2 June • On–Campus • Summer Program
In a weeklong program that started on Memorial Day, Iconographer Khouria Erin Kimmett of The Annunciation Press led the inaugural summer program at St. Vladimir's, a six–day iconography workshop for college students. Collegians started the week as both novice iconographers and experienced students who had studied under Erin previously. Each participant completed an 8" x 10" icon of their choosing, while closely following the guidelines and principles as explained by the instructor. The students walked through the time–tested steps of icon-painting—from layering paint on gessoed boards, to adding intense color to the saintly figures, to goldleafing halos. As the week progressed, brilliant images emerged from their formerly plain wooden boards.
"This group was a joy to work with," noted Erin. "Each one was a serious and committed Orthodox Christian. Their hearts were in the task, and they understood the meaning behind what they were doing. They were focused and prayerful, and it was a wonderful week."
In addition to working on icons for hours each day, the artistically–inclined group of collegians toured the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and visited the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral afterwards, and also gathered for evening presentations with The Rev. Dn. Evan Freeman (alumnus and Yale University doctoral student) and Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, St. Vladimir's director of Admissions and Alumni Relations. The class wrapped up the week by joining the community at St. Vladimir's for Sunday's Divine Liturgy in Three Hierarchs Chapel, in which Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield blessed the completed icons.
"Being a complete beginner in iconography, it was much less intimidating to join fellow students for the learning experience," noted Alaskan student Lydia Wade. "It was also a great opportunity to meet other Orthodox young people and make new connections in a different part of the country. It has been a very joyful and humbling experience to learn how icons are created and it has been great to learn and work with Kh. Erin." Added Seraphima Karbo from Project Mexico (Tijuana), "I really enjoyed the environment created by being at the Seminary. Deacon Evan and Protodeacon Joseph's talks were phenomenal, and Khouria's as well." (Read more student feedback here.)
Erin Kimmett is a graduate of Wichita State University, where she earned a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. She has designed and produced curriculum materials for the Orthodox Christian Education Commission as well as the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. A trained Byzantine iconographer, Erin works from her home studio for 8–10 hours a day, creating icons for Orthodox churches across the country. She also owns and manages The Annunciation Press. Erin is married to The Very Rev. Joseph Kimmett, pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Norwood, MA, and is the mother of Nicholas and Zachary.